Isle of Skye and Kinloch Lodge – The Inner Hebrides, Scotland

An Island Apart, with Lordly but Cozy Digs

A newish bridge has diluted some of its mystique and otherworldliness, but the Isle of Skye still remains a land apart in history and fantasy. The largest of the Inner Hebrides (50 miles long and from 3 to 25 miles wide), and one of the closest to the mainland, Skye is renowned for its unforgettable landscapes and as the hiding place for Scottish hero Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746 after the infamous mainland defeat of his 5,000 Highlanders by the English Duke of Cumberland.

The wet and windy Hebrides, both Inner and Outer, have long been associated with tweeds, woolens, single-malt whiskies, edge-of-the world landscapes-—the very spirit of Scotland.

Getting to Skye is half the fun when you follow the scenic 45-mile “Road to the Isles” from Fort William to Mallaig on Scotland’s western coast, one of the main ferry ports for Skye. Tap deeper into the Scottish soul and linger a few days as (paying) houseguests at the family-owned and -managed Kinloch Lodge in the beautiful southern comer of the island. Built in 1680 as a hunting lodge for the Macdonald family, it is the elegant but unpretentiously comfortable home of Lord Macdonald, high chief of the Donald clan, his wife, Claire, and their four children.

Lady Macdonald cheerfully confesses to never having had a cooking lesson in her life, but that hasn’t stopped her from writing a dozen cook­books and building a reputation as one of the leading authorities on Scottish cooking. Everything served at Kinloch is either from the island or the waters that surround it. Balmy weather and fertile land have made this water­front area the Garden of Skye.

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